Travel Diary / Out West

3 years ago by

Photos Devin Doyle

So, I started dating a new guy recently. His name is Devin. He’s a really, super amazing guy and we get along great. Really great! But he is totally my opposite. Have you ever seen the show Green Acres? If you haven’t, here’s the summary. A man loves living on the farm and his wife loves living in the city, chaos ensues. I like to think that show, despite airing more than 60 years before Devin and I met, was written about the two of us.

So you get the idea… I’m city, he’s country. I’m indoors, he’s outdoors. I dreamed of a career in fashion, he dreamed of a career… on a ranch, or something like that. Obviously, we’ve managed to make it work so far, but our first trip together was going to be a test.

atelier dore travel diary out west christina holevas

Turns out, I was going to be the one who was tested. It was a 10-day road trip from Boulder, Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona. I found myself slightly out of my comfort zone.

First off, there was driving! Did you know that I don’t drive? At all? Did you read the part where I wrote 10 day ROAD TRIP. Devin, bless his heart, drove A LOT. I semi-confidently navigated. For the sake of growing and learning, I “practiced” my “driving” twice in Arizona for about one hour each time. By the end, we were both proud, but slightly terrified. We both needed a big drink.

atelier dore travel diary out west christina holevas

Second, there were some… outdoor activities. Snowboarding (terrible!! I’ve never fallen down more in my life) and hiking in the Grand Canyon stand out the most. On the morning of the Grand Canyon hike, freshly scarred by my snowboarding nightmare, I was pretty nervous. We were there in January so a) it was freezing and covered with ice and b) the government was shut down, which meant there would be no state troopers. They tell you that it’s going to take twice the time to climb out of the canyon as it takes you to climb down. I was wearing a pair of jeans. I was unprepared to say the least. We ended up hiking almost 14 miles in 6 hours! It was BEAUTIFUL and my fears were irrational (it turns out hiking is really just walking up and down hills!). But still, by the end, it was time for a big drink.

atelier dore travel diary out west christina holevas
atelier dore travel diary out west christina holevas

Third, there’s that January thing. Like I mentioned, it was FREEZING!! On the day that we visited Monument Valley (another incredibly gorgeous location, and even more so when covered with snow) it was 6 degrees! 6!! Devin is a mountain man from Colorado, seemingly unbothered by low temperatures. I get violently cold when the air conditioning is blowing on me too much. Really, the only thing you can do to keep warm in this kind of situation is… have a big drink.

atelier dore travel diary out west christina holevas

Soooo we had a lot of big drinks. And honestly, after all of my complaining and hesitation, I had a really amazing time. The American West is truly incredible. I was surprised by how different it feels from the East Coast, where I grew up. Sprinkled between the stunning views were diners, art (Taliesin West is a must!), honky tonks, there may have even been a mechanical bull involved (although photo and/or video evidence will NOT be produced).

So, if you ever have the opportunity to travel out west, you should take it! Even if you’re a city girl like me.

atelier dore travel diary out west christina holevas


Add yours
  • I’ve always dreamed of just going somewhere and from there, see where it’ll take me; make new friends, make new memories. But I guess I’m still on that stage where I feel scared of the idea. Hopefully one day i’ll take the leap.



  • Jessica March, 10 2019, 3:33 / Reply

    As a woman of the west this is slightly hilarious. Tall mountains, big vistas, snow, hiking, skiing – it’s what we do.
    I had the realization when I went to college on the east coast that these things aren’t just PART OF BEING AN AMERICAN (You can understand my confusion when every damn “patriotic” thing features the American west), but it still surprises me to this day that people who think they are worldly are totally intimidated by being in the world.
    I’m glad you had a good time!

  • Clotilde March, 10 2019, 4:44 / Reply

    It is very difficult for us europeans to imagine that some american people may never visit the wild wild west. It is definitely, with New York and L.A. all right, the “must see in the US” for french people for example. I agree that many other places in the US are very beautiful but the southwest is just a blast and so diverse, you can go there ten times and still love it. Even the Grand Canyon, as touristic as it can be, contain so many treasures that it is impossible to be “blasé” about it. Winter is actually a very good season, everything is much less crowded. Just be aware that some canyons (like Bryce) are at high altitude and may be packed with heavy snow !
    Nice photos indeed…

  • Ce recit me rappelle mes premiers sejours aux U.S. et les road trips avec mon boyfriend americain (devenu mon mari plus tard.) Que de bons souvenirs. :-)
    Super photos, comme d’habitude.

  • Maureen March, 11 2019, 5:49 / Reply

    Monument Valley on my bucket list, great photos.

  • J’adorerai connaître ça un jour.

  • the photos are absolutely beautiful and loved the story… thanks so much for sharing!
    ps – love your hair in the braids!!

  • Naydeline March, 14 2019, 7:59 / Reply

    I love this story so much, and these PHOTOS! So glad you had a great time. I’d love to visit the American West one day. x

  • Does great stuff just wonder why there is all black for such beautiful locations?

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